Its January 2015, time for some new resolutions created, then broken a week or two later. With the start of the new year, CrossFit, will no doubt be at the top of many people’s lists. CrossFit has become the new Fad in workouts over the last few years. Growing from a small 15 gyms in 2005, to over 10,000 in 2014, CrossFit is taking the country, and world, by storm.
With any new Fad or fitness craze, the critics seem to come out of the woodwork to criticize, poke holes and simply “Debunk” the claims or success a person may achieve. With CrossFit, its no different. The last several years have seen their share of myths and lies portrayed about the dangers of CrossFit, or how CrossFit can kill, etc… I would be willing to bet that none of these, so called “expert” critics, have even done a WOD, or even visited a gym in their area.
The problem lies in the fact that CrossFit, is simply misunderstood by the public. So, before you make a decision on your new year’s resolutions this year, at least get educated on a few of the top myths portrayed about CrossFit. Here are the top 5 CrossFit myths.
Myth #1 – CrossFit is too dangerous. You will get seriously hurt.
The truth is, you can get hurt doing just about anything. To date, there have been a few studies done that point to an increased frequency of injuries. Such as this one conducted by Ohio State University. This particular study had a relatively small sample size of 43 participants. However, the study also stated, that is most often left out, that “In conclusion, we can infer from our data that a crossfit-based HIPT training program can yield meaningful improvements of maximal aerobic capacity and body composition in men and women of all levels of fitness.”
While CrossFit, or any HIIT (high intensity interval training) or HIPT (high intensity power training) training can cause injuries if the moves are not properly executed. The CrossFit gyms I have personally attended, all emphasize technique and safety, to help ensure injuries do not occur. Additional studies are on-going, and early results are showing that CrossFit injury rates are no higher than other workout programs, such as P90X, TRX or other HIIT programs.
Myth #2 – I already have a trainer, or do similar workouts at the YMCA, why do I need CrossFit
I’m sure you are working with a great training at the Y, or some other gym, but sadly, it does not compare to the experience at a real CrossFit gym. If your training is simply having you walk from circuit machine to circuit machine, while tallying your results on a clipboard, this is not a good training regimen, and in no way compares to a CrossFit workout. On the other hand, if your trainer is a good trainer, they are probably already having you do moves that are similar to a CrossFit workout anyway, or at least some HIIT movements to push your abilities. Why not join a CrossFit gym with other people who are doing similar workouts, and share in the competitiveness and teamwork that goes hand in hand with CrossFit.
Myth #3 – CrossFit is too expensive
It’s true, CrossFit gyms do cost money. The gyms in my area average around $100/month for their membership fees. However, with anything in life, you get what you pay for. For $100/month, you are getting access to world class equipment and trainers that will push you to become a better, stronger and healthier version of yourself. How much money do you spend per month on entertainment such as eating out, drinks, etc… When put into perspective, spending $100/month on a gym membership, doesn’t sound all that crazy.
Myth #4 – CrossFit is too hard for me, I’ve seen the CrossFit Games on T.V.
Did you play football, baseball, basketball or any other sport growing up? Did you watch professional sports on T.V., then when signups came for football season, say, “I watched the Superbowl on T.V., there is no way I could do that in real life.” Probably not. What you see in the CrossFit games, is not what you see in the gym. Those athletes are in the peak of physical shape, and have made their job CrossFit. At my gym, we have people of all shapes and sizes performing their WOD’s. You don’t have to be in peak physical shape to do CrossFit, but by doing CrossFit, you will be close to peak physical shape.
At most, if not all gyms today, there is a new member introductory class or program that gradually acclimates newcomers to the world of CrossFit. Your workouts get ramped up and you get stronger and build endurance to take on the next level of skill and intensity.
Myth #5 – You have to be on the Paleo diet for CrossFit to be effective
Personally I do not follow a diet of sorts, certainly not the Paleo diet. I try to eat healthy food, and indulge myself every once in a while. However, many CrossFitters do like to stick with the diet fad, especially the Paleo diet. CrossFit does not officially endorse or subscribe to any diet. Many people just tend towards Paleo because it fits with many of the values and moralities CrossFit exudes to people. Lots of greens, nuts and seeds, lean meats, and absolutely no sugar, are the staples of Paleo as well as CrossFit.
There you have it. Five of the top CrossFit myths explained. Now that you have a better understanding of the CrossFit culture, go out and join a gym for yourself instead of reading about it online!